Sunday, 16 November 2008

Final Selection Weekend

So I couldn’t go to Teignmouth and have a fun, but relaxing weekend. Instead I went to the second selection weekend, which was also the final selection for the Paralympic Fast Track Power Programme.

It was held in Loughborough again and I arrived with Courtney at 9.45am on Saturday. It appeared that they had asked 12 athletes back, which was a little confusing as there are 12 places on the programme. However, a new group emerged who were doing the same tests that I had to do previously.

In the morning they seemed a bit unorganised and we were meant to be watching the professional train in order to get an idea of what it involves. Obviously this was quite boring for me and I just shivered in the freezing cold!

Next it was lunchtime and I found that most people knew each other. Nobody really made an effort to talk to me and I felt like an outcast. At this point I was thinking that being a below the knee amputee would be much better than being blind! They can run fast, drive and generally don’t need any help. Unlike me who needed guiding around everywhere, one to one demonstrations and unable to strike up a conversation with anyone.

Anyway, in the afternoon we did a little technical work, but I can’t say I broke in to a sweat. After that some people did discus, but they told me I could go. Quite a rubbish day really!

Today was better and I took jack along to help me, as Courtney has football matches on Sundays. We did some more technical work and were timed over 20m after a power start. I did well to be fair running at about 15.5secs 100m pace.

After the session I spoke to Brian, the coach who I believe used to be the chair of IBSA (International Blind sport Association). I wanted to know where I could get a good coach in order to progress. He suggested Sheila who used to coach me, but unfortunately as she’s connected with Exhol Grange School her priority lies with them. Basically the students don’t get the most out of the track and so haven’t been going to Pingles for a while now. He said he’d be willing to coach me, but it’s up to UK athletics where he gets based and he’s not sure yet. He comes down to Loughborough monthly for coach meetings and explained that he would be more than willing to coach afterwards. He commented that he’s not sure the programme is right for me, as I’m already involved in athletics and just need good coaching.

This afternoon we were put in to 3 teams and had a mini competition over several events. I did the 30m sprint, standing long jump, overhead shot, cricket ball throw and leg press. Oh yeah and the relay. We came second overall. My usual silver place finish!

In the round up they said that they will devise a plan for each individual and will be in contact in a couple of weeks. Honestly, I don’t think they’ll accept me on to the programme, but I hope they offer a suitable alternative. I gave it my best shot as ever and still determined to succeed in the sport.

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